Review of 52 Uncommon Dates, giveaway and link up!

Dating Your Mate

Today I’m doing something fun! I’m sharing about an amazing book, 52 Uncommon Dates, by Randy Southern and giving away a copy of the book to one randomly chosen commenter.

Now, if you’re like me and my man, then coming up with creative things to do on a date can quickly turn into a chore that’s burdensome or so time-intensive that it never gets done. That’s the last thing a date should be—a burden! Even if you think of a creative date idea or two along the way, having all the details mapped out or having incredibly fun and interesting tips/activities to make it more meaningful are hard to come by!

What I loved about this book: {because, honestly, I didn’t see anything that I didn’t like! And I’ve seen quite a few books on dating in my day. Yeah, let’s not go there—my age has nothing to do with it!}

  • First of all, I love that there are 52 creative and “uncommon” dates for each week of the year or for however long it takes you to get through the long list.
  • I love how inexpensive many of these date ideas are. There’s even a date called, “Garage Sale Date” that {as you might guess} involves making money instead of spending it! ha!
  • I love how each date gives you specific “tools” in the toolbox to make your date more than just something to do socially or recreationally. I’ll list them below—so be patient, my peeps! I’m getting to that!
  • I like how diverse each of the date ideas are. There was everything from the Garage Sale Date I mentioned above, to the “5k Date,” “Spontaneous Date,” “People-Watching Date,” “Backrub Date,” etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!

The specific “tools in the toolbox” are:

  • Step-by-step instructions on how to plan the date.
  • Questions for reflecting back on the date.
  • Tips for incorporating Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages into each date. {So cool!}
  • Ideas on how to incorporate prayer and God’s word as it relates to the topic of each date.

Even if you don’t win this book in the giveaway, buy it, my friends! It is so worth Amazon’s recently reduced price of $8.50 or $5.77 for the Kindle version. Oh, and it would make a great wedding gift as well! BTW, I get no kickbacks—other than receiving the free copy of the book to review—so there’s nothing in it for me moving forward. I’m just sayin’it’s a must-have for every couple who wants to stay connected in a meaningful way over the years.

Rules for the giveaway –

  • Only one entry per person—regardless how many times you comment. 🙂
  • Entrants must have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address.
  • The winner will be announced back her at this post after the link up closes at midnight on Thursday, Sept. 11th.

Now it’s your turn!

Tell us about one creative date you went on with your spouse! 

or

Tell us about a date that turned out to be a “dud” and why! 

 


If you’re interested in checking out my very first “vlog” {video segment} you can click here to go directly.

Congrats to Stasia! She’s our winner this time around … although I think you’re all winners in my book! 

Joining with  Works for Me WednesdayWholehearted WednesdayWhimsical WednesdayWhat You Wish Wednesday, So Much at Home and Essential Fridays.

Now it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!
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  • Hmmm… Creative date, huh?

    Sherri and I often do creative things together…we don’t always think of them, specifically, as dates…

    I guess one thing we’ve learned to enjoy, together, is rodeo playdays. Sherrie is usually a competitor and I am usually helping run events. I get a kick out of watching her compete, plus I enjoy working with the horses. Sometimes we have kids or grandkids with us…sometimes it’s just the two of us. Either way,we always have a fun time. 🙂

  • My husband keeps trying to get me to do a yard sale – LOL – he’d love a date like that! When the boys were little, I’d order to-go for after they went to bed and then had movie and eat out night – right at home. We tried a bicycle-built-for-two in Holland once, but that only lasted once around the block before we switched for individual bikes! LOL – I don’t really think about dates – but just living life together, doing things – from star-gazing to hiking – and just doing life together and finding the joy in it:)

  • This points out some holes in my marriage.

    We don’t date any more, except for a very occasional trip to the local Sonic drive-in for a sundae.

    There are several reasons, but the most compelling is my health; doing anything really hurts, and while I can deal with it and still enjoy life, it takes the fun out of things for my wife. seeing the person you love wincing when things are supposed to be fun is pretty depressing, I guess.

    I’ll go further, because this may help someone else…this is a use-it-or-lose-it scenario. As we’ve fallen out of the habit of spending quality time together, we have less and less to talk about, less to share besides “how much blood did you spit up today, dear?”

    Yuck.

    I’m working on the road back, making sure I ask her about her life and thoughts, and showing at least some interest in the things she finds fun (even if it means listening to America’s Got Talent). But it’s a struggle, and in spite of the illness – I should have seen that it could get here.

    The love is still there – don’t get me wrong. But the shared fun and intimacy have been stunted, and they didn’t have to be, illness or no. And, yes, the “how?” is answered by one word.

    Counseling.

    Terminal illness is a big thing, and calling in the professionals to deal with the issues is definitely warranted.

    All that was really hard to write, and I’m tempted to delete it…it’s embarrassing. But it might help someone else, so here goes…

    Post Comment.

  • I did a review of this book as well and thought it was such a great resource! Like you said I never had seen anything like it before either! We liked the Lego date!

  • Seems like a great book… I would love to get my hands on it! 🙂
    As for creative date idea? Hmmmm… we actually love mall walking, especially since it is so hot in the south! When I was pregnant we would meet almost everyday after work to get our walk in no matter the weather!

  • Well, I don’t date anymore but if I did I would love to go in long walks or bike rides. I also have a fun side and would love to go zip lining! Hmmm! Hope it happens someday! Hugs friend!

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  • Creative dates? Hmmm….I think some of our most “creative” dates were during the years when one of our children had a severe form of epilepsy and our “get-aways” were hospital stays. A couple of times, after we got the baby to sleep, we had the older children watch a movie with our sick child while we went “on a date” in our bedroom. The kids had a whistle to blow if their younger brother started having seizures. Another time, after everyone was asleep we had a movie date in the living room that was set-up with a T.V. monitor for us to keep an eye the little guy who was asleep in his special bed in our bedroom.
    Those and a few others along the same lines were our most creative. Now, thankfully, we’re back to normal dates…going out to eat, walking around Lowe’s (his idea), taking a walk.
    ~Candy

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  • My husband and I like to go out on dates even though we do not do it as often as we wish. Last time we went to an Italian Restaurant, we had not done that before, just Mexican, Lebanese, Chinese and all.
    We really loved it.
    Maybe WHEN I win this book, we will gain more ideas on how to date.
    Let me know incase you need my US mailing address, lol!
    Thanks for sharing Beth, have a super blessed day!

  • You are speaking my language on this one, Beth! I don’t know about “creative” but as far as uncommon date ideas, I have found Groupon, Amazon Local and TravelZoo great resources for coming up with date ideas we would not have thought to do otherwise. For one date not too long ago we toured the Christmas Story House in Cleveland and ate at a new restaurant, neither of which would have been on our radar without those tools. Dating your spouse is so important and I myself am really working on improving my practice.
    (**Beth, feel free to edit this next part out if it comes across as too “salesy”.) To that end, I have begun to put together a toolkit to support the practice of dating your spouse. It includes tons of date ideas and more. It is still a work in progress, but if anyone would be interested in checking it out or joining me, it can be found here: https://gumroad.com/l/spark-to-sizzle

  • Hi Beth – It is very easy for us to get out of the habit of dating, or just having fun together. Steve mentioned Groupon. We have also had some fun with Groupon or Living Social deals, including a couple of kayak trips. We need to do more of that sort of thing.

  • Hi Beth…this book sounds like fun, as you said. And my Michael and me, well we spend nearly all our time together working from home as we do. And we love long walks daily and reading God’s word together each morning as the sun is rising. Our creative dates of late have been day trips within two hours from home and all of it costing well less than $100. Mind you we do these only once every one to two months, but they are just the rejuvenation we need. Last week on a still summery day we spent time in New England at a pristine beach along the Connecticut shore, testing the waters, walking across the sandbar to an island, walking the full length of the quiet boardwalk and getting sun-burnt and then eating the best buttery lobster ever and finishing with banana splits with hand-made, small-batch ice cream. A delicious day and so very needed after the whirlwind summer of all the kids home, selling the house and moving. God is good. A few months ago we spent the day in Bennington, VT, taking in historic sites and having a picnic. We love getting out on the open road together and discovering new places. Hugs to you, my friend…

  • Gosh … did we ever think we’d see the day where a date would feel like a chore?

    ;-€

    Books like this are good news. I guess it’s kind of sad that we need them …

  • Beth, my husband and I are in our 60s and other people keep asking if they can accompany us on our typical summer date! So far it has been just the two of us.
    We live in northwest lower Michigan near several beautiful bodies of water. Several years ago we bought two kayaks. Every week we take a whole day, tie the kayaks to the top of our Honda SUV and drive 30 miles to the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. We park our vehicle where the Platte River empties into stunningly beautiful Lake Michigan. From there we launch and paddle UP stream until our energy is gone. We picnic and snack along the way. Then we lazily float downstream to where we began.
    We have shared so much natural beauty and have so many memories of seeing wildlife including otters, snapping turtles, herons, bald eagles, salmon, porcupine and more. By going upstream, we are not surrounded by other people. It feels very private. It is a shared adventure that renews us and connects us, plus we get exercise, fresh air and sunshine. It also gives us private talk time when we are totally relaxed.
    In our opinion, shared adventures make great dates.

  • Lisa

    Our most recent creative date would have to celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed the aquarium in Chattanooga and then went white-water rafting for the 1st time.

  • andrea

    My husband is great at planning dates that are surprises. My favorite of recent was when he had planned a babysitter for our girls, bought movie tickets to a movie I really wanted to see and then took off of work and whisked me away. 🙂

  • Trish

    it is amazing how as we get older and have busy lives how hard it is to date and to find time to date. This book sounds like the perfect way to help!

  • Hey Beth, wonderful review! I think the latest most memorable date was our 6th anniversary getaway, 2 or three weeks ago! It was lots of fun and we got to do things we haven’t done in a while. Great review!

  • One of our first dates: Well, it involved motion sickness and vomit. You can read the full story here: http://alittlewifeshappylife.blogspot.com/2012/08/gross-story.html

    It’s gross.

  • hmmm… our dates are always the same. Dinner, coffee, pass out on the couch. Hahah

  • My husband and I don’t do a lot of “creative” dates, but just yesterday we had an impromptu lunch date at a new restaurant. It was lots of fun and we shared a ton of laughs. It was nice to have something out of our norm “dinner and a movie” type date.

    Thanks for suggesting the book! It sounds great.

  • Sounds like a good read! As for me, I lack creativity when it comes to dating, usually my partner plans everything as well as the budget because she reckons that I would spend so much if I were to plan. But we are going out of town for a couple of weeks and probably do some things we have never done before – train rides with no exact destination, etc! Thanks for posting this. – Ritter